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[broot-l-ahyz] /ˈbrut lˌaɪz/
verb (used with object), brutalized, brutalizing.
to make brutal.
to treat (someone) with brutality.
Also, especially British, brutalise.
Origin of brutalize
1695-1705; brutal + -ize
Related forms
brutalization, noun
overbrutalization, noun
overbrutalize, verb (used with object), overbrutalized, overbrutalizing.
unbrutalize, verb (used with object), unbrutalized, unbrutalizing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brutalize
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Instead of softening his nature, this intelligence seemed only to harden and brutalize it.

  • It is impossible to brutalize the inhabitants of the Philippines!

  • Nothing could be better calculated to lower and brutalize the character of a soldier than the offer of £25 for a human scalp.

    Glimpses of the Past W. O. Raymond
  • Thank God that no attempt has ever been made to brutalize the troops of the Allies.

    Private Peat Harold R. Peat
  • Slavery is a curse to the oppressor scarcely less than to the oppressed: its natural tendency is to brutalize both.

  • "Useful to brutalize a lot of brave souls who merely sought—" he broke off with a new sense of outrage.

    The Wrong Twin Harry Leon Wilson
  • Oh, why, why had she leagued herself to this evil system where she must brutalize herself to live?

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • Every effort was made to brutalize a man, and then he was blamed for not being a St. Bernard.

British Dictionary definitions for brutalize


to make or become brutal
(transitive) to treat brutally
Derived Forms
brutalization, brutalisation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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